Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Summer Style Linkup! #mysummerstyle

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I've been wanting to do a link up for a while now...and I thought what better to discuss than our love of summer?  I'm calling this "summer style" because I have a thing for alliteration, but also because I think everyone's summer has a bit of a different style to it. I look forward to wearing no makeup, running around barefoot, and listening to music and/or reading by the pool all day. 
Basically, you can add your link to the widget at the bottom of this page, and then, on May 24th (it's a Saturday), you can tell all of the blogger world about your favorite way to "do" summer, essentially, your very own "summer style." 
You can talk about your summer playlist and your favorite songs that always make you thing of summer, OR your favorite summer vacation, OR your favorite things to wear and places to shop for summery clothes, OR your favorite recipes to make during the summer, OR anything you want! I'd love to incorporate everyone from lifestyle bloggers, to fashion and beauty bloggers, to mom bloggers (because yes, reading mommy blogs is my guilty pleasure!), so please share and invite all of your bloggy friends to join in on the fun! 
Let's make the rule of the day that when you hash tag your post on any form of social media you use #mysummerstyle and we each check out two other bloggers! That way, we can "meet" two lovelies we may never have met before! Also, please let people know when you blog that day that they can still participate even if they didn't link up here before…just tell them about the hashtag so we can find their posts! Can't wait to read all of your awesome posts, see ya on May 24th! 

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Louisiana's Old State Capitol

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One of my best friends, Caroline, came to stay with me Thursday night and we had a big adventure planned for Friday. Friday morning we headed to the mall to hit up Lush, but after that we headed to what I like to call Baton Rouge Castle, but really it is the Old Capitol, which is now a political history museum. Nevertheless, it still looks like a castle to me. 
It was so much fun to finally visit something that I've been wanting to see for two years and I can't wait to go back. It was neat to see Baton Rouge as a tourist and political history is right up my street. 
After having major troubles trying to navigate downtown's one way streets, we finally made it and I got princess parking in the shade. I was extremely chuffed. 

Here's me super excited to go inside...

The view up the main staircase..oh my Lord, it is so gorgeous! 

The 1882 House Chamber…think of the history here! 

Oh yeah, the stained glass dome!

The 1882 Senate Chamber

The entire middle of the second floor is called the Hall of Governors. They have the portrait of every single governor to date and little screens that tell you facts about each one. Tres cool. 

The old governor's office downstairs. 

My favorite democrat, Huey Long. 

The view of the old capitol back when it was still in use as the state house. So cool to see Baton Rouge like this! 

The floor tiles in front of the governor's office

The view of the river from the House Chamber. It's crazy to think that nothing around the capitol used to be there and this used to be just a straight view to the river. 

GORGEOUS I TELL YOU. I am ready to move in. 

#idie. There were even people having picnics under the oaks. 

And one more view up the staircase because I'm obsessed!

Here's a professional shot of the staircase and Hall of Governors just for you! Thanks Google. 

And that ceiling again! 

And just as an extra…this weekend we went to pick out another new pup who will be coming to live with us soon! We got to choose between 2 white labs (both girls) and we get to take our pic home in about a month. Even though we just got Atticus, she was a surprise and we've been planning this pup for a while. I say, the more puppies the better, right? 
And then we also played with the new ponies for a while too! 

How was your weekend? What have y'all been up to? 

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Friday, April 25, 2014

How to: Score Your Best on Standardized Tests

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As the end of the school year is approaching, I know that standardized tests are on the horizon for many! My younger sister is a junior in high school and even though the tests are available year-round, most of her friends are taking them at the end of this month or during the summer. With this in mind, I decided to compile my top tips and with the help of my wonderful Facebook friends, I think we've got a solid top 5! 

1. Buy the Book
Yes, I know, I've doubted them too, but they actually work very well. The specific books for each exam have really good tips as well as explanations for each section. Most of them have at least one practice test, all of which are very helpful. I didn't do the entire book of exercises, but I did go through the quick tips and take 1 or 2 practice exams, which helped me more than anything else. It relieved some of my anxiety about going in without knowing what to expect AND you can score yourself and see what areas you need work in and then flip to that section of the book and work it out! 

2. Rest and Relax 
The night before the test can often be an anxiety filled one, I totally understand, but once you get there you've probably learned all that you can learn and staying up all night to cram will only hurt you in the long run. I say, run a bath, watch a good movie, eat some ice cream, and relax knowing that you've learned everything you need to know already. Then get a good night's sleep and have a good breakfast before the test. Go for something with protein like oatmeal and yogurt, but don't be afraid to throw some dark chocolate in there! Dark chocolate is supposedly good for your brain and if you eat it in the form of chocolate covered almonds (that's the snack I brought) then you're getting protein and good sugar! 

3. Bring your own supplies
I am so glad my teachers pounded this into my head. You'll need three to four PRE-SHARPENED pencils, calculator with batteries, extra batteries, tylenol, a snack (see above), and a watch. By bringing your own things, even if they end up providing them, you can rest assured knowing that you are prepared and don't have to depend on anyone else. And by bringing extra things, you know that if something should go wrong (pencil breaking, calculator dying, etc), you're covered…and trust me, that does A TON for pre-test anxiety. 

4. Don't Rush
By having your own watch, you can keep track of time yourself. Not having to constantly look up at the clock saves a bit of time, and again, you know you're covered just in case the testing center wouldn't have a clock. 
Don't get distracted by the people around you that look like they're zooming through…they're probably using my next little tip, but you should only worry about yourself. If you pace yourself and don't spend too much time on one question, you'll be fine. 
If you don't know the answer skip it and come back. Again, this one was hammered into my head and I'm so glad it was. On most tests, you get partial points for filling them all out so just make sure that even if you run out of time, you still circle something…A and C are the most common answers! Just don't waste valuable time trying to remember a formula when you could be on to the next easy peasy one that will only take a second. You want to hit all of those before coming back to things you may not be able to answer. 

5. Try, try again 
Most standardized tests are offered throughout the year. It is often rumored that there is one easier one per year, so the more you take it, the more likely it will be that you get that one. I will always say that April is the best month because you've just finished reviewing for finals and I've always found that having that refresher right before the test works wonders for me! If you're in the South taking ACT, April is always the most modern readings, so again, I'd say take it then! 
Don't feel discouraged if your first score isn't as good as you'd hoped. Nobody does their best on their first time and you can always do it again, this time more accustomed to the testing center, the test format, and the timing. 

That's all I've got at the moment, but if you guys ever have questions, feel free to email me! I'm always up to answer any extra questions you may have as I'm a standardized test loving nerd. 

What is your "top test tip"? Did these help you?
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P.S. - Please go and "like" my Sarah Smile Facebook page. 1. Because you love me and want to stay updated, and 2. Because it makes me feel super cool and loved and all that jazz. (;

Monday, April 21, 2014

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

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When I packed for Spring Break, I forgot to pack my cleanser. I stopped at CVS on the way out and picked up the Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser. I had tried a sample packet that came in my Seventeen magazine and really loved it, so forgetting my cleanser was the perfect excuse. 
I have combination skin, oily around my T-zone with dryness on my cheeks and around my nose. This makes it hard to find a good balancing cleanser, especially because my skin is too sensitive for something harsh with chemicals in it. All that said, I really love this cleanser. It has a slight cooling effect when you first put it on and it just leaves your skin feeling very clean, but not tight and dry. I feel like my skin looks clearer after I use it and I have definitely seen a difference after using it during my worst skin week since high school. It can be a bit drying if you aren't moisturizing or if you have dry skin, but I haven't found it to be a problem since I moisturize at least once a day. I am looking forward to the summer when my skin gets a bit oilier and this will work perfectly, with or without moisturizer. 
It comes out looking like a black jelly and even though it feels very soft on the skin, I think the tiny particles in it do a good job of exfoliating without being scratchy or irritating my skin. 

All in all, I'm really enjoying using it. It makes my skin feel cool and clean while also clearing up ay problem spots, win win!

Have you ever tried this cleanser? Which face products are your currently loving? 
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

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Hoppy Easter! I know, I know, so cheesy. I thought I'd write up a post for you now that I've gotten half of the festivities out of the way and have a few bits to show you! 
My easter #OOTD. I literally had a meltdown in J.Crew on my way out of Gulf Shores when I found these pieces! I have a seersucker skirt with the side buttons and I absolutely love it, so this neutral navy is absolutely heavenly. And, can I just say how much I love pop overs? They are so comfortable but the buttons don't go all the way down so the buttons don't get stuck at the top of my skirts…problem solved. 

My cousins (well, a few of them anyway) after lunch at my grandparents'! From the left we have my cousin Cora, my sister Hannah, my cousin Drew, me, and then my cousin Reid! 

Our silly pic! 

Me with our new pup Atticus! I have always loved Atticus Finch, from To Kill A Mockingbird, so I've always wanted to name my future child that, but I don't know if my future husband will let that slide, so a pup will work for now!  

The fam! 

Close up of me and Addy. Atticus turned out to be a girl, so we are keeping Atticus, but her nickname will be Addy! 

Hope you guys are all having a wonderful day with your friends and family and enjoying the day! Let's all take time to remember our wonderful God that lived and died for our sins and be thankful for everything we have in our lives because of the sacrifice he made for us! I am so thankful for my wonderful friends, family, access to a great education, and just all the blessings that come my way, including you lovelies, and I could never thank God enough! 

"Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isa 53:4-5 

Happy Easter! 
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Monday, April 14, 2014

A Week in the Life #12

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Okay guys, I know I've been a bit AWOL lately. Today, let's catch up on all the things I was loving last week, since I totally forgot to do a Friday Five post…#nojudgement 

The Royal Family. 
I die every time I see another picture of them. Obsession level has skyrocketed. 

American Authors. And The Cars. And 5 Seconds of Summer. I'm just loving it all. 

One Tree Hill. I cannot even explain how many episodes I watch a day. You can blame this for totally derailing my blogging schedule. 

And that's about it. We had beautiful weather last week and when I wasn't in class I was either enjoying it or watching One Tree Hill. Or dying to find new, cool music (recommendations please!). All the while stalking Kate…now ya know!

I leave for Spring Break this morning, so if you want to stay updated, follow me on Insta! I promise to post lots of wonderful beach pics! 

How was your week last week? Happy Monday! 

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